Friday, March 23, 2007

The high cost of sex

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.

Now let me see if I get this right--for some unknown period of time there has been "something" in the Medicaid law (a system that is supposed to help the poorest of the poor, if I remember the socialist line correctly) that has been used to subsidize birth control on college campuses?

Great Jumpin' Jack Flash.

And of course, the universities, hotbeds of the neo-socialist movement in this country, are singing the blues:

"It's a tremendous problem for our students because not every student has a platinum card," said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the health center at Indiana University.

"It's terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging up as well," said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of about $15 per month is expected to triple. "This is one thing they've been able to benefit from for years."

Wait a second, and I'll call you a ride...

At some point....

(Via The Drudge Report)

At some point, the world is going to realize that Iran will have to be dealt with.

Hopefully it won't be after a city somewhere in the world is a burning, radioactive ruin.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Republicans growing a pair

(Via Drudge)

It would seem that the Democrats are not as completely in control of the House of Representatives as they think they are:

House Democrats pulled a bill to grant voting rights to Washington, D.C., after Republicans offered a motion that would repeal the gun ban for the District.

The move is a clear signal that Democrats have lost control of the House floor on the voting rights issue after minority Republicans presented the Democratic majority with a politically unpalatable motion that their conservative members would be forced to support for fear of angering the gun rights community.

It's with no small amount of glee that I note the item that's dividing the Democrats--GUN RIGHTS!

After the '06 elections there was a lot of speculation that the newly elected conservative Democrats would not march in lockstep with the loony left who usually controls the party agenda. It looks like there was some accuracy in the speculation, since the House leadership was unable to keep their troops in line on this issue, which has historically been important to the socialistc nutjobs who have been steering the Democratic ship aground in recent decades.

Of course the cynic in me has to wonder if the gun rights amendment was proposed solely because it would poison a bill the Republicans wanted dead, or if there was some measure of understanding what sorts of things their base holds dear and making a nod in that direction as well.

I hate that DC won't get the gun rights part of the bill, but I'm happy we don't have to fight the unconstitutional voting part in court. I'll count this one a win.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not complaining

Sometimes, it seems like all I do on this blog is rant and rave and complain. Not this time. This time, I want to say thank you to an anonymous customer service worker at Honeywell.

When we bought The Freehold v2, one early task was to replace the non-programmable thermostat with a programmable one. (If you want to save some serious money, this is an easy and cheap way to do it.) I looked at the local big-box home store and picked out a Honeywell RTH 7500, based more on features and the Honeywell reputation than on price.

The new thermostat installed easily and has worked just fine until recently, when for some reason it lost a day--it thought it was Sunday when it was actually Monday. This means the programs are running at the wrong times, because our weekday routine is very different from our weekend routine.

This shouldn't be a problem--just reset the day of week and we're done. Unfortunately, while the thermostat is easy to program in most frequently used ways, the setup functions are cryptic--and day of week is a setup function. You really need the manual to do it.

As you may guess, I couldn't find the manual. It's probably here somewhere, but who knows where. After a quick look where it should have been, I resorted to the geek's best friend--the World Wide Web. I hit Honeywell's web site to download the manual.

But the download link wasn't working. Neither was the search function. Someone misprogrammed a script. So I had to resort to setting and resetting by hand for a day. Not a big deal, they'll see the problem all over their error logs, and fix it the next day, right?

Not right. Next evening, the problem still wasn't fixed. So I used the contact page and sent them a message, outlining the problem with their site and asked for a direct link to the manual or instructions on resetting the day of week.

For those of you who have tried this, it's a crap shoot. Half the time or more, you'll never get an answer. I was prepared to be angry.

About 15 hours later, I got the link and the instructions in a very nicely worded reply. The instructions and the link both worked just like they should. My thermostat now knows it's Tuesday, not Monday.

Now I could let myself get all bent by this. The thermostat inexplicably lost a day, and resetting it isn't straight-forward. I lost the manual, and Honeywell's webs site was seriously dysfunctional. It wasn't fixed promptly, because someone apparently isn't doing their job as well as they should. But one anonymous worker at Honeywell, by simply doing their job the way it should be done, has taken away all the reasons for anger and instead, created a well-satisfied customer who is now doing what any well-run company always hopes its well-satisfied customers will do--telling others.

Good on you, Honeywell.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I can't figure it this one is funny or sad, but either way, they owe me a keyboard.